Wednesday, July 29, 2015

So about Rise of the Tomb Raider's release schedule...

Sometime last week, Squenix admitted that yes, Rise of the Tomb Raider is coming to PS4... with a "holiday 2016" release window - exactly one year after its Xbox One launch.  This brought up the whole "why the crap is it a timed exclusive" question again, to which Squenix responded "Microsoft are super, super passionate about the game!", which translates to "they paid us, and we think it'll be worth it."

Now... I'm of two minds.  First, I worry the game appearing in 2016 might really hurt its PS4 sales.  I hope you, Rise of the Tomb Raider, appreciate that when you actually launch on PS4, you're very-likely going to be going up against a game called Uncharted.

You remember Uncharted, don't you, Tomb Raider?  It was that game everyone laughingly called "Dude Raider" when it first launched in '07, but it went on to become the gold standard for globe-trotting action-adventure games, with graphics, animation, writing and story presentation that no other developer in the world could even approach?

You must remember, because you tried pret-ty damned hard to emulate Uncharted's finer points in the last Tomb Raider game - but couldn't quite make it, what with your pretty-good-but-not-great graphics and pretty-good-but-not-great animation and your pretty-damned-bad storytelling.

And I've seen footage of Rise, Tomb Raider.  I've watched it - with my eyes - and let me tell you, you're no Uncharted.  It's a good thing  you're initially launching in 2015, because if you launched alongside The Next Uncharted, nobody would be talking about you within a week.

...and when Rise of the Tomb Raider drops in 2016, if it lands anywhere near Uncharted, it will be a pale, wan thing by comparison.  Them's just the breaks.  It's like if Shadow of Mordor had come out within a month of Batman: Arkham Knight.  It would be laughed out of the room.


...but the gameplay of Tomb Raider was very different from Uncharted's, even as it aped the new gold standard.  More than anything, the wonderful platforming really stood out - really satisfied - and I want to play that again on the new gen.  In fact, I already have and it was awesome.

So sure, Tomb Raider, come to my console a year late.  Fashionable, let's call it.  But maybe just, y'know, read the room a bit, and if you see Nathan Drake strolling through, give him a wide berth.

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